Most government departments have been delivering their services online during the pandemic. However, the issuing of national insurance numbers to individuals who move to the UK must still be done by way of a face to face interview with a DWP officer.
Individuals who were living in the UK at the age of 15, whose parent claim child benefit, will be automatically allocated an NI number at age 16. However, UK and Irish citizens who arrive in the UK later need to apply for an NI number, although they do have an automatic right to work in the UK.
An NI number is normally necessary to register as self-employed. HMRC is aware of this problem and advises that an individual without an NI number should complete form SA1 to register for self-assessment rather than form CWF1, which is normally used to register as self-employed.
On form SA1 tick the box to say there is no NI number and when asked for the reason state “Unable to get a NI number as DWP are currently not holding face to face interviews due to COVID-19.” Further on in the same form it asks “why do you need to complete a tax return”, for this choose “any other reason” and write in “self-employed” stating the nature of the self-employment.
The CJRS grant application asks for each employee’s NI number. Where there are over 100 employees in the CJRS claim, the NI number field can be completed with the employee’s employment number or payroll ID on the spreadsheet submission. However, where there are fewer than 100 employees in the CJRS claim the employer (or we) will have to call HMRC and make the claim by phone if there are any missing NI numbers.
Written by the Tax Advice Network